Does Geography Matter for a Business Valuation?

May 23, 2022

If you are in need of a business valuation, whether to settle an estate or divorce or for a business or shareholder dispute, criteria for selecting the business valuation professional need not consider geography. Similar to a recent blog regarding industry specialization, neither industry or geography matter.

As a certified business appraiser, I have prepared business valuations for privately held businesses throughout the United States; from Maine to Hawaii and North Dakota to Texas. Internationally, I have developed business valuations for businesses in more than fifteen different countries.

Through decades of experience and by leveraging technology, business valuations can be thoroughly and completely prepared remotely. I can and do conduct business as efficiently and effectively with a business owner in Andover, MA as I do working with a business owner in Houston, Texas. Documents are easily and safely shared electronically and for businesses where site visits are relevant, I have and continue to successfully conduct site visits remotely. During the pandemic, site visits were not possible as businesses were shut down or access was limited for the safety of the employees. In such cases and for businesses not located nearby, I have successfully completed ‘site visits’, including for a scuba diving business in Hawaii, gathering the important data needed to finalize the business valuation.

Instead of limiting your search to a professional who is close to you geographically or who has prepared business valuations in your industry sector, I encourage you to focus your evaluation of a business valuation professional on the following 3 most important criteria:

  1. Credentials. Are they certified? Do they have the credentials to demonstrate their understanding of business valuation? One way to assess this could be asking the professional if this is their full-time focus. That can be an indicator that the professional has dedicated his or her career to remaining current on tax laws and business valuations are their sole focus. Ask the professional for their credentials specific to business valuation, and specifically look for the following certifications: CBA, ASA and/or CVA. Note: CPA is not sufficient.
  2. Track record. Does the business valuation professional have a proven track record demonstrating their business valuations stand up to rigorous scrutiny? They should be able to clearly speak to the track record of testifying in court as one example and what the results were.
  3. Proven process. Does the business valuation professional offer a proven process and methodology that is consistently applied regardless of the business or industry? Process is important as it is the process that converts to the final deliverable. When an ‘industry professional’ presents to the trier of fact a 1 page business valuation report and the trier of fact compares that to our 100+ page business valuation report documenting what was done, why it was done, how it was done, conclusions drawn and why those conclusions are reasonable and credible, there is no comparison.

For a recent interesting case study on valuing mineral rights on property in North Dakota, click here.

When Values Matter. Geography Does Not.

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